WEEKLY WEBINAR ROUNDUP
– Is your organization hosting a remote training, webinar, or discussion? Does it touch on climate, energy, or the environment in Massachusetts? If yes, email me at Tim.Cronin@cabaus.org, and we’ll include it in our new “Weekly Webinars” section. Deadline for inclusion: each Wednesday by 9 am EST.
BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– House Leadership lays out rules for remote legislative session: Today (at 1 pm) Speaker DeLeo and house leaders will attempt to pass 20 temporary changes to the rules that govern how the chamber is run. If passed, legislative sessions will be live-streamed, with lawmakers able to call in via phone to make motions and register their votes. Read more about this ‘virtual’ session here.
The House had originally proposed changing the threshold for a roll call vote (one that records who votes “yes”, and “no”) from 10% (16 members) to 25% (40 members). The proposal was met with swift criticism from everyone from climate advocates, progressive activists, to GOP lawmakers, who say it as a means of consolidating power among Democratic House leaders. As of publication, House leadership has revised this proposed rule changes to keep the voting threshold at 10%.
-Senate President recommits to climate change legislation: In a statement to SHNS, Senate President Spilka said she hoped a number of bills already passed by the Senate, including its Next Generation Climate package, would make it to the Governor’s desk. The bill, which passed in January, includes a requirement for economy-wide carbon pricing, a new climate watchdog commission, among other things. The proposal is currently before the House.
Climate advocates are cautiously optimistic about the chances of seeing a climate bill passed this session. Besides the traditional hurdles that exist with passing any bill, challenges to passing a bill this session include the current focus on responding to the COVID-19 crisis, an uncertain economy, and an inability for activists & supporters to lobby lawmakers in person. Despite these challenges, both legislative leaders have expressed a desire to see a climate bill this session, with Speaker DeLeo even floating the idea of extending the session beyond its traditional end on July 31st.
– For the most up-to-date info on COVID-19 & Beacon Hill…..
- The State House News Service coronavirus updates tracker” see the latest updates here.
- MassTrac COVID-19 bill tracker: Check it out, and follow updates, here.
ALL POLICY IS LOCAL
– “Grant will bring solar planning to 3 Western Massachusetts towns” (Ron Chimelis, MassLive): [read the article]
– “Community Choice Aggregation: A Local, Viable Option for Renewable Energy” (Climate Reality Project, EcoWatch): [read the article]
– “Harvard’s ‘Green’ Endowment Policy Falls Tragically Short” by Craig S. Altemose, via the Harvard Crimson.
– “Halting environmental rollbacks” by Trevor Wilson, via the MetroWest Daily News.
– “Climate lessons learned from COVID-19” by Jennie Moss, via the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
– “Climate Change Worsens Effects Of Global Outbreaks Like Coronavirus, Expert Says” (Lisa Mullins, WBUR): [read the article]
– “American Society of Adaptation Professionals on Adapting to New Climate Realities Around the U.S.” [RSVP for the webinar here]
LOCAL CLIMATE SPOTLIGHT
– MIT Professor receives the prize for work on cultural dimensions of climate denialism: [learn more]
– “Boston Scientific Signs Deals Cutting its Carbon Footprint in Half” (Alyssa Danigelis, Environmental Leader): [read the article]
Missed the last CXC Roundup? Here are the top three climate headlines from last week:
- Baker administration announces boost in emissions targets…. of just 5 percent.
- More climate, energy bills on the move
- “State Official Says Mass. Climate Goals Remain On Schedule Despite Pandemic”